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Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Regressions, Machine
Learning, and Neural
Networks
Ranking Factors Going
...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
The challenge is in learning the mechanics
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
And nitpicking…
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Micah Fisher-Kirshner
Director of SEO & Content
@ Turn/River Capital
Pres...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Understanding the
Victory Conditions
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
y = 𝜷x
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Correlation != Causation
highly
significant
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Regressions
y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1x1 + 𝜷2x2 + 𝜷3x3 + 𝜷4x4 + ...
+ 𝜷5x1x2 + 𝜷6x1x3 + ...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
y = Keyword’s Position
y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1(title tag length) + 𝜷2(order in title ...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
y = Keyword’s Position
y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1(title tag length) + 𝜷2(order in title ...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
y = Keyword’s Position
y = 𝜷0 + 0.001x1 + 0.002x2 + -0.003x3 + 0.05x4 + ....
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
1. Solves complex issues
2. Finds hidden connections
3. Is black box in n...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Plotting the
Victorious Win
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Data Collection
• Correct & Consistent
Mobile or desktop, quality, etc.
•...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Interactions
• Positive Combinations
Authority, branding, etc.
• Negative...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Interpretations
• Reasonable
Direct traffic, Google AdWords, etc.
• Outli...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Categorizations &
Quality Checks
• Grouping
Search volume & ranking posit...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Visual Outputs
• Graphs
Correlation goes on scatter plots
• Error Ranges
...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Sanity Checks
• Data Separation
Cross-validation
• Peer Review
Do others ...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Taking the Time &
Effort for Victory
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Total: ~$20,000 for the year
• URL Profiler (scaling): $300
• SEMrush (ra...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Why
• Algorithm Updates
Knowing content or link based
• Prioritization
Ch...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1x1 + 𝜷2x2 + 𝜷3x3 + 𝜷4x4 + ...
+ 𝜷5x1x2 + 𝜷6x1x3 + 𝜷7x2x3 + ......
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
What I Planned… (High Level)
y = 𝜷0 + 𝜮𝜷2(CONTENT)
+ 𝜮𝜷3(LINKS) + 𝜮𝜷4(DOM...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
What I Planned… (Content)
y = ... + 𝜷2a(exact phrase title tag) + 𝜷2b(tit...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
So…
• Internal Links Checker API
Ahrefs: I need you!
• SEO Testing Platfo...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Enjoying the
Taste of Victory
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Demand Better
• Use the scientific fields’ toolsets
• QA your data before...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Citations & Personal Board Gaming Tips
• https://scikit-learn.org/stable/...
Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
Huge thanks to Christian, our Data Scientist
–
Twitter, LinkedIn, and the...
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Ranking Factors Going Causal by Micah Fisher-Kirshner at TechSEO Boost in Boston 2019

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A presentation into why ranking factor studies should take from the scientific field the statistical tools and methods, how we should analyze or produce these studies, and why there is an opportunity today in our field.

Note: Watch the video via SiteCatalyst to get the full talk track.

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Ranking Factors Going Causal by Micah Fisher-Kirshner at TechSEO Boost in Boston 2019

  1. 1. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Regressions, Machine Learning, and Neural Networks Ranking Factors Going Causal
  2. 2. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost The challenge is in learning the mechanics
  3. 3. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost And nitpicking…
  4. 4. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Micah Fisher-Kirshner Director of SEO & Content @ Turn/River Capital President & Founder @ BayAreaSearch.org A modern nerd
  5. 5. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Understanding the Victory Conditions
  6. 6. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost y = 𝜷x
  7. 7. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Correlation != Causation highly significant
  8. 8. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
  9. 9. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Regressions y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1x1 + 𝜷2x2 + 𝜷3x3 + 𝜷4x4 + ... + 𝜷5x1x2 + 𝜷6x1x3 + 𝜷7x2x3 + ... + 𝜷8x1x2x4 + ... + 𝜷nxn + 𝜺
  10. 10. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost y = Keyword’s Position y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1(title tag length) + 𝜷2(order in title tag) + 𝜷3(page load time) + 𝜷4(total in-body internal link value) + ... + 𝜷5x1x2 + 𝜷6x1x3 + 𝜷7x2x3 + ... + 𝜷8x1x2x4 + ... + 𝜷nxn + 𝜺
  11. 11. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost y = Keyword’s Position y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1(title tag length) + 𝜷2(order in title tag) + 𝜷3x3 + 𝜷4x4 + ... + 𝜷5(title tag length * order in title tag) + 𝜷6x1x3 + 𝜷7x2x3 + ... + 𝜷8x1x2x4 + ... + 𝜷nxn + 𝜺
  12. 12. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost y = Keyword’s Position y = 𝜷0 + 0.001x1 + 0.002x2 + -0.003x3 + 0.05x4 + ... + 0.3x1x2 + -0.03x1x3 + -0.07x2x3 + ... + 0.1x1x2x4 + ... + 𝜷nxn + 𝜺
  13. 13. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
  14. 14. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
  15. 15. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost 1. Solves complex issues 2. Finds hidden connections 3. Is black box in nature Neural Networks title tag length title tag order page load time
  16. 16. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Plotting the Victorious Win
  17. 17. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost
  18. 18. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Data Collection • Correct & Consistent Mobile or desktop, quality, etc. • Removals Low correlations and limited data • Time Series Weekly changes
  19. 19. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Interactions • Positive Combinations Authority, branding, etc. • Negative Combinations Panda, spam, etc.
  20. 20. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Interpretations • Reasonable Direct traffic, Google AdWords, etc. • Outliers Wikipedia, Amazon, etc.
  21. 21. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Categorizations & Quality Checks • Grouping Search volume & ranking positions • Subsets Keyword intent & heteroskedasticity
  22. 22. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Visual Outputs • Graphs Correlation goes on scatter plots • Error Ranges Uncertainty goes on whisker plots • Regression Results Standardized data formatting
  23. 23. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Sanity Checks • Data Separation Cross-validation • Peer Review Do others see the same thing • Predictive Models Has similar accuracy going forward
  24. 24. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Taking the Time & Effort for Victory
  25. 25. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Total: ~$20,000 for the year • URL Profiler (scaling): $300 • SEMrush (rankings): $5,000 • link.fish (content): $2,000 • Majestic (external links): $5,000 • Ahrefs (internal links): $5,000 Cost
  26. 26. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Why • Algorithm Updates Knowing content or link based • Prioritization Changes and how to react • Linkbait Nothing grates engineers more
  27. 27. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost y = 𝜷0 + 𝜷1x1 + 𝜷2x2 + 𝜷3x3 + 𝜷4x4 + ... + 𝜷5x1x2 + 𝜷6x1x3 + 𝜷7x2x3 + ... + 𝜷8x1x2x4 + ... + 𝜷nxn + 𝜺 What I Planned…
  28. 28. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost What I Planned… (High Level) y = 𝜷0 + 𝜮𝜷2(CONTENT) + 𝜮𝜷3(LINKS) + 𝜮𝜷4(DOMAIN) + 𝜮𝜷5(STRUCTURE) + 𝜮𝜷6(UX) + 𝜺
  29. 29. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost What I Planned… (Content) y = ... + 𝜷2a(exact phrase title tag) + 𝜷2b(title tag length) + 𝜷2c(order in title tag) + 𝜷2d(brand name used) + 𝜷2e(title tag relevance) + 𝜷2f(exact phrase h1) + 𝜷2g(exact phrase largest font) + 𝜷2h(h1 relevance) + 𝜷2i(largest font relevance) + 𝜷2j(exact phrase body copy) + 𝜷2k(BM25 score) + 𝜷2l(Flesch-Kincaid readability) + 𝜷2m(exact phrase first 100 words) + 𝜷2n(exact phrase URL) + 𝜷2o(URL relevance) + 𝜷2p(exact phrase title tag * order in title tag) + 𝜷2q(exact phrase title tag * largest font * URL) + 𝜷2r(exact phrase title tag * BM25 score) + ... + 𝜺
  30. 30. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost So… • Internal Links Checker API Ahrefs: I need you! • SEO Testing Platform Distilled ODN: Need a lot of traffic • Build-a-Google Custom search: Need engineers
  31. 31. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Enjoying the Taste of Victory
  32. 32. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Demand Better • Use the scientific fields’ toolsets • QA your data before analyzing • Be reasonable and avoid grandiose claims • Analyze where one can dive deeper • Use plots, not charts • Get the study reviewed before publishing • VICTORY!
  33. 33. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Citations & Personal Board Gaming Tips • https://scikit-learn.org/stable/tutorial/ machine_learning_map/index.html • https://e360.yale.edu/features/flooding-hot- spots-why-seas-are-rising-faster-on-the- u.s.-east-coast • https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ graphics-that-seem-clear-can-easily-be- misread/ • https://sdm.lbl.gov/snta/2018/SNTA18_KW ON.pdf • https://www.mdpi.com/journal/futureinternet /special_issues/SEO • Axis & Allies Invade Spain with the United Kingdom • Star Trek Ascendancy Monitor Romulan research continually • Tridimensional Chess Look always at the board top-down • Suburbia Build income to max then go reputation • Galaxy Trucker Focus on weapons and engines over exposure • Chaos of the Old World Don’t let Khorne and Nurgle team up
  34. 34. Micah Fisher-Kirshner | @micahfk | #TechSEOBoost Huge thanks to Christian, our Data Scientist – Twitter, LinkedIn, and the Internet: micahfk

A presentation into why ranking factor studies should take from the scientific field the statistical tools and methods, how we should analyze or produce these studies, and why there is an opportunity today in our field. Note: Watch the video via SiteCatalyst to get the full talk track.

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